Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, not constraining, but willingly, as God would like you; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords of which you were confined, before, making you the flock. 1 Peter 52.3
I consider that my pastoral ministry began in early 1986. In that year the church leadership asked me to lead youth, then a small group of about 80 people. I Did not have any experience, but with Pr. Marcelo Almeida, we had a great hunger for God, and wanted very much to be used by Him to build a work that causes impact on the lives of the youth.
We were not very clear what to do, but at the beginning of year had come in contact with brothers of the community grace, and they learned about something they were unaware, discipleship. That marked us deeply and we decided we needed to practice discipleship.
We took all the material they had to pass onto those who would be our disciples. We had never been discipled and we had no idea how to be discipled. It was just something revolutionary and willing to make a revolution.
Needless to say, we really applied all discipleship because we understood the result, at first, it was really wonderful. Our youth group has grown from just a handful to more than five hundred young people in just over one year. Though errors were not slow to appear.
What was to be a lifestyle became just a way of working, and what was to be a means of bringing disciples to maturity became a firm itself. Many began to radicalize the process, and sadly we have seen it.
disciples dominating people, demanding their complete submission to his authority without showing love or spiritual reality. Petty tyrants began to dominate the flock, and soon, something that was truly biblical became a source of sadness and injuries to many of us.
No doubt, practice at least some genuine
skipped because almost all of our disciples became pastors and prominent leaders some time later, but those excesses produced me some resistance. For years I kept personally practicing discipleship, but I was afraid to encourage its practice in the middle of our church. Today, after making a thorough assessment of the method and examine the excesses of the past, we believe that the building of the church goes through true discipleship. There are, however, hazards in a discipling relationship.
You need to be aware of certain deviations that may occur in your relationship with disciples. I want to list here some warnings, which are also principles for the relationship between the disciple and his disciple.
1. RELATIONS SHOULD BE COMPATIBLE
First of all, we must mention some types of improper beliefes about discipleship. Avoiding them will only bring benefits.
A. SINGLES SHOULD NOT FOLLOW IN YOUR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY PROBLEMS
Couples problems should only be handled by those who are married, and has experience in the family sphere. And sexual problems, they are the most difficult to solve. Of course there may be exceptions, but I am convinced that will be quite rare.
B. THE GUYS SHOULD NOT DISCIPLE YOUNG WOMEN AND VICE VERSA
While a guy can take a girl to Christ and vice versa, she should not be his disciple. The same applies to women, it is not prudent a lady disciple a boy. Obviously our concern is an emerging emotional involvement between them. The risks of involvement are always present, and the relationship can end in a romantic mood. If both are already mature, I believe that there are no problems, and discipleship is done in a group, the risk would be diminished. But generally it is better that boys disciple boys, and girls disciple other girls.
C. MARRIED MEN SHOULD NOT ATTACHED TO YOUNG WOMEN AND MARRIED WOMEN, AND MARRIED WOMEN SHOULD NOT ATTACHED TO BOYS AND MEN MARRIED
You should never disciple a married woman unless his wife participates directly in the process. This means you will only make the discipleship of a woman with his wife present at all meetings.
Apart from the obvious appearance of evil, an unbelieving husband will hate if a man gives advise to his wife in their home.
D. IT IS BETTER FOR THE DISCIPLER TO BE OLDER
When the disciple is much older or more experienced, there is a risk, instead of salting, the disciple will be salted by the other; instead of influencing they turn out to be influenced, and that would be a complete reversal of roles in discipleship. Also, it very embarrassing for an older man to be discipled by a young man.
2. CAREFUL HANDLING AND DOMINATION
Beware the assertment on the life of the disciple. The Word of God says to guard the flock of God among us, not as a constraint but willingly, according to God; not as dominators of that they were confined before becoming the flock (I Peter 5: 2-5)
The first thing we have to very clearly believe is that all discipleship is first to Christ. every disciple is above all a disciple of Christ. The disciple must be a disciple of Christ and not of men!
There is a very subtle trend in the work of discipleship to get carried away by legalism and control the life of the disciple. Disciplers when unaware of the demands of Jesus, impose their own requirements. I heard the shepherds confirming that people like to be in charge. Being required to dress and behave a certain way. Someone has come to the beliefe, that believers are like preachers knocking because they pass the idea of a more serious Gospel. But what it often is only human legalism. So brothers living under the tutelage for leaders to open space for a discipleship where man, not Jesus dominates the disciple. None of us, unfortunately, are free so, It may be that in our country does not impose the manner of dressing up, hairstyles, to use, or not to use a beard, but there is always the trend, but there is always the tendency to want to impose the personal opinion of discipling these and other issues.
I’ve seen cases where some disciple-makers and shepherds open up on the frequency of sexual activity of his disciples! A disciple starts opining about little things, but may end up wanting to determine with whom the disciple must marry, how many children they should have, etc.
3. DO NOT MAKE A DISCIPLESHIP INTENSIVE COURSE
The discipleship process is, first of all, a transfer of life and not merely a transfer of knowledge. Many turn disciple discipleship relationship in a spiritual postgraduate course. Prioritize the relationship and teach when circumstances require. The best is s ue erar the Holy Spirit create situated s treatment in character, or spiritual principles of teaching. Be very careful not to try to create artificial situations educational or treatment of character. One must learn the true path to the practice of discipleship. Remember constantly that the disciple of Christ is.
Our mission is to train him and help him, causing him to grow in faith. We should never impose our will on a disciple, but teaches you having to submit totally to the will of Christ.
Discipleship as a form of training is extremely important for the life of the Church and the extension of God’s kingdom. A discipleship training there. First that training that leads us to be disciples of Christ, Commitment, have with Him Then we can develop a more speci fi c training preparing the disciple to do the work of God! Still, we have to understand that discipleship is not something eternal.
4. SERVE HIS DISCIPLES
Of course, authority and submission are biblical fact a disciple to undergo a disciple does not prove that he submits to the Lord. No discipleship works properly if the clear teaching on submission is not preceded or accompanied by the teaching of love and service. Not that the authority and submission need not be emphasized, but they shall not have pre-eminence over the law of love. In fact, sometimes we emphasize the authority and submission but forgot to give any emphasis to the main law that is the law of love. Disciplers in authority without a heart full of love often become tyrants, completely ignoring the student’s needs.
Remember that on one hand the disciple must be submissive, on the other hand the disciple needs to understand that he is the servant of the disciple and not the owner. It should teach you the counsel of God and not their personal tastes and customs. Must preserve personal disciple qualifications. We must bear in mind the vision of God in authority. The world authority’s position signal and field, but in the realm of
God the authority comes when we serve in love (Mark 10:43).
We must understand that, as a disciple, we serve giving three fundamental things to our disciple. First, we must give ourselves. ] Esus gave no meetings and gave himself (John 1: 38-59; Mark 2: 1 5). Give yourself, your time, your interest, your friendship. Let get involved, take charge, ensure, pray. We have to give our home, our love, our life. Secondly, we must set an example. ] Jesus was an example. He said, “Come and see”, and shall not, “Come and hear” We must also say “come and see” We must come to say…. “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ” This is not claim Jesus it was not pretentious, nor Paul. God is what makes us expemplos the life of Christ in us.
And thirdly, we should give God’s Word. Jesus instructed with Word (John 15: 3). He was constantley showing the will of the Father. He taught and guided everywhere and at all times. In the temple, at home, on the road, on the boat (Mark 10.1).
Jesus gave education to all areas of life. We have to teach the disciples and observe all that Jesus commanded.
5. DON’T BE LEGALISTIC
Do not try to change the person based on his personal bias. Not want to change the exterior to the interior has not changed.
Do not get hung up on things outside, but light having a disciple intimate experience and deep with God.
The social behavior of questions as to what you should not do, what is sin or not, the Holy Spirit will guide every student. You can not criticize a brother or judge them for going to the cinema or football, or tell a new convert they should not do this or that. The disciple can testify of why it does or does not do something, but should never make your way to live a law for all. The role of the disciple is to teach the student to listen to the Holy Spirit and be guided by Him, besides showing in Scripture God’s standard.
Any discipleship method that induces people to follow a leader and obey the rules and not Christ is fundamentally evil! All discipleship should get people to be like Christ and this should be the main target of all. In verything put Christ in the center. A good method or discipleship system must be completely removed from our midst.
6. BEWARE OF NEGLIGENCE
Do not be careless with punctuality and also not clear a meeting at the last minute, unless there is a really strong reason for it. The disciples resent these attitudes that they interpret as being unwell, ill will, or even rejection. Remember that you are for them the Christian standard, so be careful to not disappoint you with attitudes like lack of punctuality, and etc.
7. CAREFUL WITH THE TIME
Do not make a meeting for more than one hour. Avoid taking the disciples time unnecessarily. Be careful not to have meetings at inappropriate times, such as late at night, or in very crowded places where privacy is not possible.
8. CAUTION WITH APPEARANCE
There is nothing wrong with casual clothes like shorts and shirts, but be careful with personal hygiene: cleanliness, odor, and overall appearance. If the meeting is in the disciple’s home, be even more careful with the appearance.
9. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SOLVE COMPLEX PROBLEMS
People with drug problems, alcoholism, transvestism, prostitution, deep depression, severe involvement in Satanism, and other difficulties similarly serious, require specialized treatment. Look to Your pastor. Do not try what is beyond their ability and maturity. Be humble enough to acknowledge that you are not the appropriate person to make such accompaniments.
10. CAUTION WITH ZEAL WITHOUT WISDOM
Staying guarding the disciple all the time committed to the spiritual life of it. The overprotected believers are insecure and constantly need a “bottle” spiritualy. Do not do everything for him, and push yourself a little too. For example, you do not have to get him to drive to all the meetings of the church or cell. Just as children can become spoiled, the disciples also can in other aspects of the christian life. Let them walk with their own legs.
11. BE MODERATE IN CARE FOR THE DISCIPLES
The exaggerated care can be dangerous. The result will be that the disciple will tire you and church. If he feels suffocated, he will flee, and the enemy will eventually drag him back into the world. Let’s illustrate. One day the pastor said,
-John Want to take Pedro to his care. I want you to be the disciple of him.
– You can count on me, pastor, my dream was to be a disciple in the church. I’ll be attentive to his steps, guaranteed. I will ride constant vigilance.
But what the minister did not clarify or john asked, was as far as he could go in this surveillance, without stifling the other. And Joäo took very seriously the task of being a disciple. In the days that followed, just to get up, Joâo phoned Peter. And he repeated the same at noon and in the afternoon, without giving truce. Furthermore, fulfilling its obligation, “her every night would visit him, constraining him and taking his freedom. And also added a long list that he “should not do”; and as if that were not enough, I watched him empreita time that Peter leave home. To an end two weeks, the poor disciple of disappeared abruptly church .This is most common among young people, so Paul commanded Titus exhorted young men to be “moderate”.
Semelliantemente urges young people to be sober. Titus 2: 6.
Keep balance, Respect the privacy of others, and do not press with excessive attention.
12. DO NOT ALLOW THE SUPER-DEPENDENCE
When the emphasis on authority in discipleship is verystrrong it takes some brothers dependence on his disciple.
Pastors and disciple become his spiritual guide, deciding everything for the person. They decide if the student should or should not sell the car, traveling or not, whether or not relate certain girl or boy! This level of authority and government of the disciple of the disciples produces a feeling of tranquility and passivity that being discipleship. After all, he no longer needs to decide on anything and not even worry about now; respect. His disciple takes care of everything! And there are people who like it! The disciples feel calm because they no longer need to pray or seek God on this or that subject, or run the risk of making wrong decisions. If anyone wrong, is the disciple.
This is not discipleship, is spiritual manipulation.
In true discipleship taught the new and old to depend on God and seek His will. We advice them without imposing our views or our authority. But the problem is right here: because of the emphasis on authority, whenever we advise, we think that our advice has to be followed to the letter. We are the latter-day prophets, we receive all the truth to drive people in the Christian life. When we are not obeyed, we tend to reject them. Of course we need to give clear guidance to disciples. Among them aa they should seek God for the answer and not on our board!
How to act in a situation where the student seeks guidance? A simple approach is to pray together and get him to make a decision. The disciple must show all possible exits and let the student decide. If as disciple-makers do not understand certain issues, we recommend you to seek the advice of people in that specific area. And then let him decide decidir.Se properly mature in the Lord. If you miss, mature in the Lord. If you miss m faster yet! And we should never blame him for any error, nor should we blame us too.
The authoritarian discipleship instead of produce maturity, produces spiritual stillness. The person “grows” with eternal dependence at all, do not learn to depend on God and seek Christ in the smallest things.
13. NEVER VIOLATE PRIVACY
Do not exceed the limits of privacy disciple, both personal and family level. One thing is the disciple tell spontaneously confess, con fi denciar something intimacy; quite another is the disciple force entry or invade your privacy.
When the conviction of sin comes from the work of the Holy Spirit, of course the student will seek his help as a brother whom will open there heart with you.
There is a very subtle trend of “ownership” of the people; to bring the disciples to a total submission to his disciple, not a dependency of Christ.
Quite subtle, holds up people to your disciple and not to Christ. “And my discipul” in the air that possesion feeling, as to be “his disciple, the disciple believes he has control over it. The disciple passes love that with a simple snap, attracts the eyes of the disciples.
This becomes a servant of his master, against everything Jesus taught.
Last I saw a disciple said to his disciple he could relate to a girl because he thought good, because it, in their view, was she not Ideal for him! Someone even thought it could opine about what to professional carrereira the disciple should follow. It’s full ownership over people! Unfortunately, that is! Possession never allow this to happen between us.
In over twenty years forming disciples, many of them working in the ministry, I discovered how much harm just one wrong interpretation of discipleship can make to the church!
14. DO BUSINESS WITH THE DISCIPLES
During the discipleship time you should not do business with your disciple. He does not have maturity and is a very small thing could still destroy the relationship. Also, do not give or lend him money. Of course the opposite is true: Do not ask for money, not even borrowed, the disciple. It is not good disciples become leeches from his disciple.
15. AVOID BEING CRITICAL
Judging does not help. Censoring and “pick on” never changes people. No one likes to have someone rebuking him all the time. As a disciple, you are a motivator. Always have a positive att floor to raise the spirit of the disciple.
Remember that you ARE a consolidator foundation and not a blaster self-esteem.